My husband and I like to take walks. And drives. The most interesting conversations seem to come out of both of these things. Maybe that’s why we like them so much. It seems to be a time in which we give each other permission to take a step back and take verbal inventory of our lives.
We were taking a walk the other day and started discussing how crazy it is that we live our lives largely based on our surroundings. Whether that be religion or the church, parental guidelines we had when we were growing up, the group of friends we hang out with, the society in which we live, the time frame in which we live, our culture, whatever it is. We make decisions and live out our lives based on a number of variables, for better or for worse, and whether we intend to or not. We kind of don't have much of a choice. We are controlled by these variables, controlled by our environment. And we are defined by it.
I'm not talking about making decisions based on what other people think of you - people do that, but this goes deeper than that. I'm talking about what we internally view as acceptable and not, right and wrong, good and bad, based on our surroundings. We are restricted by an invisible cloud of expectation.
For example, it would be highly unacceptable (or at least inappropriate - I'm sure some would deem it as "acceptable" for their viewing pleasure) for a woman to take her top off at a concert in the name of freedom and feeling the music. However, in the 60's, something like that would be almost acceptable and even prevalent. It wouldn't be viewed as inappropriate or skanky, but simply someone who is perhaps in touch with her body and wants to express it. Same country, same region even, but a different time frame changes it all.
And within these variables, there are varying schools of thought on issues, on what is acceptable and not. The obvious one being that if you have faith in a belief system, you tend to live based on what that belief system deems as acceptable and not. But even within that same belief system, you can have several differing opinions on what is right and wrong, acceptable and not. And it makes you just wonder if anyone really knows what they're talking about.
It kind of makes you want to start over. To wipe the slate clean with everything you've been taught, to exist somewhere that is outside this realm of expectation that we live our entire lives by. I wonder if most people go their entire lives living by expectations that are outside of decisions that they would personally make. Not that they would necessarily be consciously aware of that fact, as we all are conditioned to perform based on our surroundings. But it's a sobering thought nonetheless. It makes you want to take inventory of your life decisions, and even second-guess your daily choices. Which I guess isn't such a bad thing.
My intention is to provoke thought, not to necessarily find resolution.